I first came across traditional doom lords Iron Void when I reviewed their second record back in my first year of writing pieces for The Sleeping Shaman in 2015. Man, that seems not as long ago as it is… Anyway, Doomsday was a big, bluesy beast that rocked in a way that so many doom bands seem to have slowly forgotten. I dug their Excalibur record in 2018 too, so their fourth record, cunningly titled IV, should be a good time too and is out now through Shadow Kingdom Records.
Call Of The Void is a gloomy, evocative intro piece which is nice considering how little thought some bands seem to put into their intro tracks. Soulful guitar leads swell into a real crescendo behind the odd tolling bell and a building drum pound, when Grave Dance kicks in with a rumbling groove. It is reminiscent of latter Ozzy-era Sabbath, maybe something from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath?
Iron Void‘s strength has always been to stay the course, no detours in psychedelic occultism or miserable gloom, just a good old-fashioned straightforward romp through classic Sabbath and Pentagram worship. But the band have definitely begun to grow their sound in ways that are satisfying to hear. The insidiously catchy opening riff to Pandora’s Box is almost boogie-worthy, while Blind Dead pulls out some PRIME Candlemass work to create this wonderfully regal doom.
a swaggering doom behemoth that draws from Candlemass, Cathedral and Sabbath but is also none of those…
She is the ‘ballad’ track here, a measured and clean guitar led piece that builds back up with some classic Iommi riffs into a little bit of Cathedral-style psychedelia before that cold, clean croon returns. That ‘she, who must be obeyed’ refrain is something else, it reminds me of something so visceral I can taste it, but it won’t come to me.
Lords Of The Wasteland is where this evolution comes together in the best way, a swaggering doom behemoth that draws from Candlemass, Cathedral and Sabbath but is also none of those. It is Iron Void, taking control of their influences and wielding them as weapons to consolidate their position. Slave One stomps its way through a bluesy groove and massive hooks, before closer Last Rites goes for that Messiah Marcolin style atmospheric doom drama in a way that is fresh and interesting.
You can see where Iron Void have begun to really form their own direction within their chosen genre; not just a band ready to tread well-worn paths of trad doom but to take the odd minor detour when it suits the song. You’re not going to get wild experimentation, but what you will get is some really well-thought-out traditional doom that tinkers with itself every so often but stays as true as possible. In a world where every band seems determined to push the envelope and experiment when it isn’t necessary, be glad that IV is here to show you that the old ways are just as great as ever.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson